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As the holiday season unfolds, the festive spirit is in the air, but so is the caution of not turning into a financial Grinch. With the economy facing challenges, including high inflation, rising interest rates, and a looming recession, it’s more important than ever to approach holiday spending with a balanced mindset. Predictions indicate a significant drop in holiday spending on gifts this year, especially in categories like clothing and footwear, as consumers become more hesitant to part with their hard-earned money.
This cautious approach to spending is understandable and necessary. However, it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the joy and spirit of giving. There are creative and practical ways to celebrate the holidays without putting your financial future at risk. In these times, finding a balance between generosity and financial prudence is key. Here are seven strategic ways to save money this holiday season, ensuring that you can spread cheer without the fear of financial repercussions in the new year.
1. Set a Budget
You shouldn’t have to put your financial goals — whether it’s buying a house or investing in your child’s education – on hold to impress someone for the holidays. Set a budget and keep it. This includes spending for food and allocating extra funds, say $20, for something or someone who may have slipped your mind.
When preparing a budget, don’t fall into the trap of trying to match your neighbor’s spending plans. You have nobody to impress this holiday season. Nobody will care if you use hand-crafted decorations made with care instead of buying a pricey inflatable snowman just for show.
2. Put Yourself First
No matter how long your holiday list is this year, be sure and include yourself at the top. While it may be the season of giving, you’re not doing yourself any favors if you struggle to pay your bills or fail to sock away any savings for a rainy day. Contrary to popular belief, taking care of your personal finances first is unselfish. It is one of the most generous things you can do for yourself and your future before giving to others.
3. Don’t Buy What You Can’t Afford
A book that sums it up entitled “Don’t Buy What You Can’t Afford” sums it up. It details how debt has become a way of life in America, with millions of households saddled with credit card debt and expensive loans. It’s a quick read that the author, James Obvious, suggests is short enough to finish while your coffee is brewing but powerful enough to place you on the path to financial freedom.
If you don’t buy what you can’t afford, you can help break the cycle of debt in your life — even during the holidays. You might even want to get this mini-book as a stocking stuffer for those on your list.
4. Give What They Need
With prices soaring and interest rates rising, many people are feeling the pinch this year. That’s why it is the perfect time to give those on your holiday list something they need instead of what they want. Consider giving practical gifts that save you money and go a long way for people who may be hurting financially, such as a gift card to a grocery store or do-it-yourself home improvement retailer.
5. Give Your Time
Speaking of DIY retailers, you might offer your time to help a friend or loved one finish a project in their home or garage. Or you could volunteer to watch the kids or do some pet sitting to make their lives easier. Time is still a valuable commodity that could go further than spending money on a gift.
6. Say No to Store Credit Cards
You may find that your mailbox receives more credit card offers during this time of year than ever before. They might even offer you incentives such as discounts if you sign up. Don’t be fooled.
Companies are using their marketing muscle to lure you into spending in their stores and will charge you a pretty penny in the form of interest for that luxury. It’s very easy to accept these offers and convince yourself that you’ll pay them off early. However, when the unexpected happens, credit card bills fall to the bottom of the heap, and the interest begins to pile on.
7. Avoid Electronics
While it would be nice to buy someone on your list the latest iPhone, things could get out of hand quickly. Buying an expensive item for one person could spill over to other people on your list, leaving you spending more for the holidays than you ever intended to. Please keep it simple and set your sights on meaningful gifts instead of expensive ones.
Use Sharemoney to Send Money to Your Loved Ones
During the holiday season, sending money to family and friends abroad can be a heartfelt way to celebrate. Sharemoney makes this process easy, secure, and cost-effective. Here’s how:
- Competitive Exchange Rates and Low Fees: Sharemoney offers some of the best rates and lowest fees in the market, ensuring more of your money reaches your loved ones.
- Fast and Reliable Transfers: With Sharemoney, you can send money quickly, and your recipients can receive it in a timely manner, making it perfect for last-minute holiday gifts.
- Multiple Disbursement Options: Whether your family prefers to receive money through bank deposits, cash pickups, or mobile money, Sharemoney has various options to suit their needs.
- Safe and Secure Transactions: We understand the importance of security, especially during the holiday season. Sharemoney uses advanced security measures to protect your money and personal information.
- Easy-to-Use Platform: Our user-friendly platform makes it simple to send money abroad, allowing you to focus on enjoying the holiday season.
The holidays don’t have to be a time of financial worry. By following these tips to save money and using Sharemoney for your international money transfers, you can enjoy a festive, stress-free holiday season while ensuring your loved ones feel your warmth and generosity, no matter the distance.
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